The power of Anti-oxidants

 Oxygen (not the concert), with a combination of water is responsible for life on earth. However oxygen also plays a role in breaking down cells and substances. Rust on metal is due to oxidative stress. Its what turns a banana black (which shouldnt be eaten FYI). All life on earth is subject to oxidative stress. As oxygen breaks down cells in our bodies it produces free radicals, toxic by-products that are responsible for fatigue, disease and cancer. Anti-oxidants ofset the chemical reaction that produce free radicals, keeping the body clean and safe. A hangover is felt due to dehydration mixed with an abundance of free radicals in our system, which is why it is recommended people “de-tox” after wild drinking holidays (or Oxigen – the concert this time). It is said that if a human were not exposed to oxidative stress, they would live long beyond a normal human life-span!

Anti-oxidants can be found in berries, fruits and vegetables, and all foods really. Berries, cocoa and spinach are 3 foods that contain high levels of antioxidants. Antioxidants can also be bought as supplements from health food stores.

CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) – For Fat burning

CLA is a non-essential fatty acid, found in beef and dairy fats. (Anything  “non-essential” cannot be produced by the body, but has to be sourced in food). CLA has been shown to cause a boost in the metabolism resulting in a lowering of bodyfat (or an assistance in achieving lower bodyfat). In higher doses it has been shown to support lean mass. What this means is that usually when you lose weight your body goes “catabolic” (which means to breakdown, unlike “anabolic” – to grow ie. Anabolic Steroids!), so you can lose muscle aswell as fat/water. CLA is shown to stop catabolism, leaving lean muscle intact when bodyfat reduces.

 A thing to remember is that with most of my clients I have the training/diet arranged to stop catabolism! (to BUILD muscle while losing bodyfat). CLA can help support this!

CLA should be used at the recommended dose on the packaging, I cant tell you here because their potencies vary.

The most potent natrual source of CLA is cream, but is best avoided, second place is grass fed dairy and cattle, then my favourite ..   Avocado <I miss Australia :( >

Acetyl L-Carnitine

L-Carnitine is a supplement found in muscle and organ meats. Its main function is in metabolising  fatty acids to produce energy in the mitichondria (main body of cells). It seems that the more carnitine you have the more effectively you will produce energy from bodyfat, leading to more bodyfat being burnt per day/bout of exercise.  It was never made clear or fully tested that an excess of carnitine (past what we produce with a healthy intake of meats) would lead to increased fat burning. I would predict that alot of us with moderm diets would be marginally defficient in carnitine, but there are more effective things you can spend money on. One demographic of people who would benefit from Carnitine are vegetarians due to their non existant intake of lean meats. For fat burning, it is generally believed 1-3 gms/day spread out evenly is sufficient.

Benefits of Creatine..

Creatine is a great supplement for anyone looikng to make an performance advancement, whether it be to lift heavier,develope more power for speed, or to develope more muscle (which will ultimately raise metabolism to support bodyfat reduction). Creatine had some bad press a few years ago, which is a pity because it is a natural occuring substance in the body (ie. not bad at all!). People just tend to smear things they dont yet understand.

Creatine is produced in the liver, pancreas and kidneys. When creatine reaches your muscles it turns to Creatine Phosphate (phosphocreatine). You may have heard me harp on about Glycogen, the fuel tanks we have in our muscles (what you deplete during ketosis). When you feel a burning sensation during exercise, this is lactic acid, a by-product of Glycogen producing energy. But what about the first 6-8 reps you do that dont burn? Before we use glycogen, we use an immediate form of explosive energy (like to jump out of the way of a car!), called ATP or Adenosine tri-phosphate (hope I spelt that right). When you start alift (say squats), you’ll use your ATP first, and which point then phosphocreatine kicks in to regenerate ATP. When that runs out you switch to glycogen (which is less efficient, so when you feel the burn you’ll notice you slow down).

So creatine doesnt give you an extra few reps at the end, it gives you the ability to generate more power for a few extra reps at the start.  So, by supplementing yourself with an abundance of creatine, you will allow yourself more nergy to make heavier lifts/more explosive movements leading to increased speed/muscle size or strenght (depending on how you’re training).

The recommended dose is about 10gms a day, taken everyday 30 mins before training. Take this with water if trying to lose bodyfat, or with high GI carbs if aiming for muscle gain (lucozade etc). Some forms of creatine (it will say on the tin) require you take do a 4 day to a week loading phaze, where you saturate the muscle with creatine by taking 20-30gms a day befor training.

I would recommend creatine to anyone looking to break though a training plateau (find theycant advance), or for faster muscle/strenght gains. However this supplement does effect the liver, so it musct be taken cyclically (8 weeks on/ 8 weeks off etc).

Products to look out for!

The following products are available in stores like Tesco etc. Theya re higher in Protein than their pork counterparts, as well as having alot less saturated fat. They’re emade by Ballyfree, and while not being an ideal for weightloss breakfast, its a very good option for those weekends where you feel you may slip. You wont have as far to fall!


Typical 1200 cal Low Carb Meal Plan

Alot of people are getting a recommended intake around the 1200 calorie/day mark, so I have set out an exact plan of a typical days nutrition.

Breakfast  (300 calories)

  • Porridge Oats (30gms) + 1/2 Skimmed Milk (80ml)+ 1/2 Water                  —   19gms Carbs  , 140 cals
  • Protein Shake (30gms) or Seasoned chicken breast pieces  (50gms)          —   15-25gms Protein  , 80-100 cals
  • Milled Flaxseed (12g – in/out of porridge)                                                              —   5gms healthy fats, 60 cals

Snack  (200 cals)

  • Handful of mixed nuts (20gms)                                                                                    —  10gms of healthy fats, 100 cals
  • Chicken/Turkey slices (100gms) or Protein Shake (30gms)                            —  20 – 25gms Protein, 100 cals

Lunch  (250 cals)

  • Slice of Rye Bread (32gms)                                                                                             — 15 gms Carbs, 80 cals
  • Smoked Salmon (85gms) + Light Cottage Cheese  (100gms) + Lemon juice   —  30gms Protein, 5gms fat,  170 cals

Dinner  (300 cals)

  • Turkey Breast/ Lean Beef  (150gms) + Steamed Veg with Benecol spread/garlic  —  35 gms Protein, 10 gms healthy fat, 300 cals

Late Snack  (150 cals) 

 60-90 minutes before bed (not to be had if dinner was late)

  • Seasoned Chicken pieces (120 gms) / Protein Shake/ Casein Shake (40gms)          —-  35gms Protein


Notice there is protein in every meal. Likewsise if you feel a need to snack, it should be on protein rich foods like eggs or lean meats. The average female exerciser will be burning atleast 2200 calories/day. Sticking to a diet like this while training will lose you between 2-3 lbs of bodyfat a week depending on training intensity and genetics. If you are offsetting 1000 calories a day, that equals 2lbs of fat in 7 days (1lb of fat = 3500 cals)

The Importance Of Strict Diet

Many people who start training feel, that as they are doing physical activity and burning calories they can wait a while to get serious about their diet. You can go for a jog for 30 minutes and burn 300 calories. Alternatively you could have eaten 300 ham and cheese croissant last week. There is little difference.. aesthetically (forgetting fitness benefits), you are still 300 calories lighter (Roughly 40gms of bodyfat).

In a weightloss situation your calorie deficit is everything. The training you do is extremely important to keep the body and metabolism strong during dieting, but the diet itself is where you can shed the calories most.

**Ketosis-Moderating your Fat intake**

If you are following the ketogenic diet I have given you the necessary calorie guidelines. One thing to remember about ketosis is where your energy is coming from. During ketosis your body is powered by dietary and body-fat. So, the less dietary fat you eat, the more will have to come from your body. So, to speeden results, you can begin to drop your fat intake. The body does not perform well purely off bodyfat (look how week people who have gone a few days without food are), so you must take in some fats (atleast 60gms), and tweek it to your energy levels. If you bring the fat intake down, and still feel fit as a fiddle, bring it down some more.

Ketogenic Food List

This is a list of foods that have 10% or lower carbs. Keep all non-green vegetables in moderation. You do have 20-30gms of carbs/day to play around with, but if you aim for 30 you will most likely take in 40-50gms. Aim for 0, and you will be under 20. Thats how it seems to work, remembering there are some amount of carbs in absolutely everything.

Bacon , Beef , Calf Liver , Chicken , Cornish Game Hen , Duck , Goose , Ham , Kielbasa , Lamb , Pork , Quail , Sausage ,Steak , Turkey , Veal Steak.

Anchovies in Oil , Bluefish , Catfish , Cod , Flounder , Halibut , Herring , Mackerel , Mahi-mahi , Salmon , Sardine , Scrod , Snapper , Trout , Tuna.

Clams , Crab , Lobster , Mussel , Oysters , Scallops , Shrimp , Squid.

Butter , Cheese , Cream , Coffee , All Egg , Mineral Water , Mayonnaise , Tea ,Water.

Salad Vegetables
Alfalfa Sprouts , Arugula , Bok Choy , Boston Lettuce , Celery , Chicory , Chives , Cucumber , Endive , Escarole , Fennel , Jicama , Mache , Morels , Mushrooms , Olives , Parsley , Peppers , Posse Pied , Radiccio , Radishes , Romaine , Sorrel.

Asparagus , Avocado , Bamboo Shoots , Bean Sprouts , Beet Greens , Broccoli , Brussel Sprouts , Cabbage , Cauliflower , Celery Root , Chard , Christophene , Collard Creens , Dandelion Greens , Eggplant , Hearts of Palm , Kale , Kohlrabi , Leeks , Okra , Onion , Pumpkin , Rhubarb , Sauerkraut , Scallions , Snow Pea Pods , Spagheti Squash , Spinach , String or Wax Beans , Summer Squash , Tomato , Turnips , Water Chestnuts , Zucchini.